You've seen the commercials for any number of prescriptions available to treat a very real and prevalent condition plaguing thousands. But I'm not talking about a diagnosable chemical imbalance or emotional disorder. I'm talking about the very real pain we are all capable of experiencing as a result of the circumstances we face. It is a real emotional response - the literal physical aching I referenced yesterday.
"Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again--my Savior and my God!" Psalm 43:5
It's real and it hurts.
Many times in our well-meaning Christian circles we're lead to believe that with enough prayer and scripture reading, we should just be able to get over it. While it's true He is a healing balm to whatever we're facing, we have to remember it's a process and not just something we "get over."
There are the two extremes: if you're like me, you're quick to slap on a smile attempting to convince myself and everyone else that I will be "just fine." There are others who can't seem to stop the tears. They flow unceasingly with little hope for relief to ease the pain.
When I posted my ode to tears, it was with great reservation because I simply don't allow myself to cry. Despite this suppression of waterworks, it hasn't stopped my heart from feeling the very real pain of my circumstance. Allowing myself to truly feel the pain has come with its share of other physical symptoms. I know I'm not alone in this. Some of the stories I heard yesterday came with tales of those struggling with appetite changes, affects to sleeping patterns, and feeling as if the life has been sucked out of you. (Don't get me wrong - I'm not accusing anyone of being an Eeore or Debbie Downer - but it certainly brings with it a looming darkness.)
The first step is very basic.
"Arise and eat." I Kings 19:5
Sometimes doing the very ordinary things can be daunting in our emotional depravity. But just as I am reminded to take one moment at a time, you have to continue with one basic task at a time. Find encouragement in the idea that if we "were not capable of depression, we would have no capacity for happiness and exaltation." (Chambers)
This is all "well and good" but you're still sad. You're still discouraged. And it still hurts. I know...
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8
From feelings of sadness to true discouragement, you may find yourself in a state of depression. You're human. You feel. And sometimes it hurts. But you can find comfort in knowing He is with you even in the depths of despair. He knows every kind of pain because He's felt it firsthand. From sorrow to grief to physical anguish. Put your hope in a God who will not forsake you or your hurt!